3D printing service Shapeways has raised a $30 million round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Current investors including Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, and Lux Capital also chipped in. Chris Dixon, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, is joining the Shapeways Board.
The company plans to grow their team and add more factories to allow for more local production of products. “We’ve come a long way with Shapeways,” said co-founder and CEO Peter Weijmarshausen. “We’ve made 3D printing and production really accessible. We’re making 3D printing more relevant to people.”
The company currently hosts 10,000 “shops” where 3D designers can sell physical objects that are printed on demand by Shapeways machines. The service stores 1 million products and 60,000 new designs are added monthly.
Dixon sees Shapeways as the vanguard of a new industry.
“In particular 3D printing is at a point where it’s been used for a long time and at the hobbyist level,” he said. “We’re making kind of a bet now that it’s ready to go more mainstream.”
When asked whether they would even invest in a home 3D printer company, Dixon demurred but was still optimistic. “Maybe some day they’ll come down in price. There is value in both the printer model and the service model,” he said.
“The Internet has made it easy for a software engineer to become a software entrepreneur,” said Weijmarshausen. “Now we do the same thing for designers. 3D printing is on its way to change the way we think about products.”
Dixon himself is a big fan of the service.
“I printed out the Inception totem. It’s in my office,” he said. He did not report if it toppled upon spinning.